LOCAL VIEW –First Snow–

I recall reading a poem where the poet wistfully stated that someday perhaps we could again contemplate falling snow in the manner of Japanese poets of yore, and not be distracted by all our modern concerns about road conditions and whether we remembered to put on snow tires,  and what we will do if school is cancelled. For there is something to be said for the beauty of falling snow, especially the first flakes, falling when the final leaves are still on the trees.

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Sadly, I find I can’t sit back and contemplate much.  While the kale in the garden is improved by frost, the celery can’t withstand much freezing, and I have a good crop.

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But how am I to find time for the celery, when my wife isn’t too happy about my great harvest of hot peppers, gathered last week after our first freeze and still scattered about her kitchen?

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And how am I to find time for peppers with a business to run? Every day I write a list, but emergencies emerge, especially when you run a Childcare. Early childhood is actually one long emergency, as children are emerging into a world full of dangers and disasters. So that which is on my list doesn’t get done until it itself becomes an emergency. For example, I should check out the wood stoves when weather is warm, but I never get around to it until we start our first fire and the house fills with smoke. Then I have to frantically replace a stove pipe (40 years old and crumbling with corrosion) and sweep a chimney. Who has time to string up peppers?First Snow 4 FullSizeRender

The good side is that little children at our Childcare get to see a man work. Most Childcares give children the impression men evaporate at sunrise and materialize at sunset. At my place they get to feel the stiff wire bristles of a chimney brush, and see black flakes of creosote, and learn smoke can condense like steam can, and see me huff about with a long ladder over my shoulder, and understand men do work.

The bad part is that at my advanced age I’m not suppose to be huffing and puffing about. I’m suppose to wear a white suit and give orders like a fellow who owns a plantation.

How am I suppose to wear a white suit if I’m cleaning chimneys? Soot would spoil the fabric. As would dirt from the garden, and sap and sawdust from lugging firewood would be just as bad.  About the only good thing about snow is that I could wear a white suit in it and not get it dirty, but white linen is not made for cold climates and shoveling snow.

I actually feel a bit like a rat in a wheel, and have to steal time to write, but when my wife sees me sneaking off to my word processor she sometimes gives me the feeling that a man’s main aim in life is to avoid chores, whereupon I tell her a woman’s main aim in life is to create them.

Then our eyes meet, and we know it is time for a break. With a three day weekend coming up, we need a day at the beach. So let’s check the forecast.

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For those of you who like less precise temperatures, 16º Fahrenheit equals -9º Celsius. Winds will be from the north, gusting to thirty mph.

We will have the beach all to ourselves! Yippie!

Last spring I watched the final flakes falling
With the petals of an apple tree’s blooms
And wondered if I’d see the appalling,
Appealing white again. For our dooms
Are hidden from us. We can never guess
If tomorrow will come. In my mad case
It seems that the answer’s definitely, “yes.”
God’s willing I run a lap of the race
And feel snow in my face. On I will roam
With my beachcomber’s pension,with wild skies
and thudding surf a most beautiful poem
Even if I never ink the words that my eyes
See written by cirrus and hear in surf’s sighs.
The Timeless is peeking through time’s thin disguise. 

6 thoughts on “LOCAL VIEW –First Snow–

    • There is an interesting gale on the Pacific side, due to a mass of milder air swept north through Bering Strait, but it can’t make headway towards the Pole, as a true “Ralph” would do. Instead it fadees over into Alaska. The high pressure hangs tough for five days over the Pole, as a Siberia to Canadian Archipelago ridge. Then the North Atlantic gales may send a Ralph-like feeder-band to the top of Greenland, and send a wrong-way low east to west along the Canadian coast. But once you get out more than five days I don’t trust the forecast. In any case, the pattern is new and interesting.

      Took a walk on the beach today with my wife. Really pretty wild, with zero degree windchill. (-17 C) I can’t see how those tiny little sand pipers run around and are not frozen, in such a wind. How can a critter so small retain its heat?

      • You will like this …. I had a feather / down bed topper and one of the down pockets failed …. it looked like I had been goose hunting with a bazooka 😦
        A few hundred dollars later the old one is in the garbage and the new one installed. And then a lot of vacuuming to clean up.
        Any way the beasties have good insulation and amazing systems for increasing their metabolism to handle the temps. I used to be surprised at how well my little dog could handle -20 C temps and how when he came inside his little pads would be hot vs frozen … he loved the snow!

      • I really like that expression. “it looked like I’d been goose hunting with a bazooka.” Alert copyright lawyers I plan to steal it.

        I don’t see how small creatures can stay warm with such small body mass. They must find some way to make up for what they burn, with their diet. Me? I ‘d speed up my metabolism if I knew how, but don’t, so I find it is worth the extra money to by the warmest stuff available. I avoid cooling of my core at all costs. Once cold, I find it harder than blue blazes to warm back up, these days.

      • I will be picking up little down feathers for years …. boy do they get everywhere when set free from their linen prison. I wish I wasn’t so far from the ocean but it is what it is and I am land locked in a semi-arid prairie prison where we get 9 months of winter and then 3 months of poor sledding. However the skiing can be world class but I do miss the eastern skiing of my youth at Mont Tremblant & Killington etc

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